. Aberdeen finch
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- Scientific Name: Amadina
- Common Name/s:
ABERDEEN FINCH, RED HEADED FINCH.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
2.. A. e. erythrocephala, A. e. dissita,
- Origin / Distribution: Lower
portion of Africa
- Habitat In Wild: Dry open
country and have adapted to farmlands and urban areas.
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about
- Adult plumage: after the first
- Best breeding years (estimate):
2nd - 8th.
- Lifespan (estimate): Long
lived for a finch, 9 or more years.
- Sexing: Monomorphic
/ Dimorphic The hen lacks the red head
colouring of the cock bird.
- Mutations: No
- Availability: Bird dealers
- Temperament: The
Aberdeen finch is less aggressive
than the Cut throat finch. They are hardy birds and generally an easy
bird to house and breed.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $120
- Description Of Adults:
Closely related to the Cut throat finch and similar in appearance.
- Length: Approx. 130 mm (or approx 5 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 26 - 27 gms (or approx 1 oz)
on "Finches - Non Australian" web page
and use in conjunction with details
outlined on this page.
Level Of Knowledge Required:
Beginner / Intermediate
/ Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations &
By-Laws: Refer to "Government Laws" page.
Click on "Housing birds"
web page for general details on the housing
of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.
Although they can be kept with other
finches, only one pair of Aberdeen's should be housed per aviary.
They breed well as a colony. They can be housed and bred in a wide
range of aviaries. Large planted aviaries down to small aviaries
and large canary style cages are acceptable. A planted aviary of about
2000mm long x 900mm x 2100mm high (6.5 x 3 x 7 feet) will house several
Aberdeen finches must not be housed with Cut Throat
finches so there is no chance of hybridizing. They may be
aggressive to smaller species of finches.
Other than for feeding and drinking,
they do not spend much time at ground level. They like tall
grasses and shrubs in their aviary.
If space allows, the pairs of Aberdeen
finches can be
separated during the non breeding season and reintroduced about one
month prior to breeding season. Try and maintain the same partners
as the previous season for good proven pairs.
Diet / Feeding:
Click on "Feeding birds"
web page for general details on the
nutrition of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this
The Aberdeen finch requires a good quality finch mix, seeding grasses, some fruits (e.g. apple) and
some green leafy vegetables. Live food is essential during the breeding season.
Mealworms, crickets and small locusts are ideal. Sprouted or
soaked seed if available.
Basic seed mix should include Canary
seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest:
Yes / No
- Nesting months:
- Nesting receptacles:
Will build a nest in a shrub or dry brush. Equally it will
build a nest in a wide variety of artificial nests. In a
breeding cage they will use a wooden nest box. They are
sometimes poor nest builders and may require an artificial nest e.g.
wooden nest box or wicker nest to be successful. Some owners partially fill the nest
receptacle with dry grasses and allow the birds to finish the nest
and line the nest
with white feathers and soft grasses.
- Nest: Both parents
build the nest. The nest is lined
with feathers and soft fine grasses.
- Who incubates the eggs:
Hen / cock / both share.
The Aberdeen finch will use nests abandoned by other birds. Adequate spare nest receptacles must be
available for pairs nesting in artificial nests before the current
clutch leave the nest. Aberdeen finches have poor nest hygiene so
a new nest is required for each clutch. Adequate new nest material must be
available for the birds to build a new nest for the next clutch.
More details on finch nests
and a selection of finch nest photos
can be located on the "nests", "finch nests"
and "finch nest photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "nests" then
"finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in
the navigation bars.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 3 - 4. Eggs per nest 3 - 6. Incubation
approx. 14 days. Fledge approx. 21 days.
Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks.
The Aberdeen finch will hybridize with the Cut throat
finch. Although they can be kept with other finches, only one pair
of Aberdeen's should be housed per aviary. Spare adult birds
should not be housed with breeding pairs. Breeding pairs are
territorial so adequate space must be left between nest sites to
minimize the risk of territorial aggression.
Moderate nest inspection is generally tolerated especially in
birds housed in cages. In an aviary it is generally safe to leave
the young in the same aviary after they become fully independent. Young
birds (when they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in
Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be
covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be
attempted here. Refer "Specific References" as listed below and
"General References" listings.
Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control and Quarantine
requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to
require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web
site. Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues"
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book
References" web page.
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 55 No. 6 Jun 2001 Page 129-132 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 38 No. 4 Apr 1984 Page 80-81 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 28 No. 12 Dec 1974 Page 187-188 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 27 No. 2 Feb 1973 Page 22-25
- A/A Vol 24 No. 2 Feb 1970 Page 22-24.
- A/A Vol 20 No 6 Jun 1966 Page 85, 88-89 (Inc colour plate).
- A/A Vol 18 No 2 Feb 1964 Page 24-25.
- Australian Birdkeeper
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